Using Personal Checks: Online Retailer Check Advantage Still Sees the Benefits

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Check Advantage is now offering personal checks through its website in addition to affordable business checks. Despite a tough economy, and changes in the way consumers spend money, the company firmly believes there is still a strong demand for unique personal checks.

Personal Checks now at Check Advantage

“It’s too early to be shopping for headstones just yet.”

Most wallets and purses are stuffed with a variety of plastic credit and debit cards making it seem likely that personal checks will soon be on the endangered species list of payment options. However, online business Check Advantage has just begun offering more than 100 different personal check designs, laughing in the face of what seems like some major uphill battles.

When online visitors log on to checkadvantage.com, they’ll find dozens of original designs. Styles include Animal Personal Checks featuring a menagerie of wildlife, as well as Nature Personal Checks depicting breathtaking landscapes and scenic views.

While it is true personal check usage is declining, the people at Check Advantage are confident that using checks as a way to pay won’t become a thing of the past anytime soon.

Take the two biggest players in the check business for example: Deluxe Corporation, and Harland Clarke.

According to its 2009 Annual Report, more than 63% of Deluxe Corporation’s $1.3-billion in revenue came from the sale of checks. That’s more than $852-million spent on checks alone. Harland Clarke indicated in its 2009 Annual Report that checks and related products equaled 72% of its revenue last year, for a total of more than $1.2-billion.

None of this is surprising when you take into account the fact that, in its most recent study, the Federal Reserve estimated around 33-billion checks are written every year.

As a successful online company, Check Advantage saw an opportunity to claim its slice of the personal check pie. It became apparent that many visitors came to the Check Advantage website looking for personal checks. Now the company is giving customers exactly what they want at prices they can afford.

Of course, many of the major suppliers of personal and business checks are deeply concerned about the state of the U.S. economy. It makes sense to assume that since people are spending less, they are writing fewer personal checks. However, the people at Check Advantage see things differently.

Americans have made the tragic mistake of relying on their credit cards to make purchases and now they are literally paying for it. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans have more than $1-trillion in credit card debt, and that number jumped 25% in just the past five years.

As people get back to basics, they’ll also turn back to personal checks. One major advantage of using a personal check as payment is that instead of making a purchase with the flip of a wrist, the consumer must actually write the number on the check. That makes spending money a little bit harder for many the average person.

Many experts in the financial industry agree with Check Advantage’s view on the future of checks.

“It’s too early to be shopping for headstones just yet,” says Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent’s banking group. In a recent blog, Meara compared the United Kingdom’s plan to eliminate the use of checks by the year 2018 to the decline of checks in the U.S.

Meara lists numerous reasons why checks would remain a viable option in the U.S. For one thing, he mentions the absence of a Check 21 system across the pond. That means personal and business checks still need to be physically processed in the U.K. instead of the more efficient digital processing used in the U.S.

“The U.S .is well behind the U.K. – at least a decade – in overall usage rates of decline…Don’t hold your breath in other words,” Meara writes.

Even if there are table scraps for a company like Check Advantage to feast from, it still needs to differentiate itself from competitors. One way the online business found it can accomplish this is by offering personal checks with original designs.

Other websites selling Internet shoppers the opportunity to buy cheap checks online use stock photography in their designs. That’s not the case with the personal checks from Check Advantage.

The company sent its very own photographers out into the field and into their personal archives to create checks designs that are 100% unique. The Check Advantage team wants customers to be able to find personal checks that match their individual personalities.

Bargain shoppers searching for cheap personal checks online will be happy as well. Prices on all Check Advantage personal checks are as low as $10.95. That’s not an introductory rate that will change when customers reorder. It’s the low price people are offered all the time. Look for the opportunity to order even more styles of personal checks soon. Check Advantage will be adding new designs in coming months.

Watch the Check Advantage personal checks video for more information.

About Check Advantage:    

Based in Appleton, Wisconsin, Check Advantage prints and sells both business checks and now personal checks directly to customers. Since it began selling business checks online in 2001, Check Advantage can proudly say more than 99% of orders arrived on time and 99.9% were error free. The Check Advantage vision is to become the top supplier of checks via the Internet by offering quality products at affordable prices with unbeatable customer service.

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Brock O'Leary
Check Advantage
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